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Disguise and Paintings from Life

Tang Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Chen Danqing: Disguise and Paintings from Life”, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Chinese-American artist Chen Danqing. The show marks Chen’s first major solo presentation in Hong Kong and his first exhibition with the gallery. Curated by Cui Cancan, it will showcase Chen’s latest figure paintings from live models.

Chen Danqing is one of the most important painters in history of Chinese contemporary art. Born in Shanghai in 1953, he created propaganda posters as a teenager depicting the feats of Mao Zedong. He took an interest in painting at a young age, constantly studying works by Western artists to improve his technique. Chen was particularly influenced by the works of the Realist painter Jean Francois Millet whose works were featured in the group exhibition “Exhibition of French Rural Landscape Paintings from the 19th Century” in National Art Museum of China in 1978. In 1976, Chen visited Tibet and painted “Harvest Fields Flooded by Tears” that earned him early recognition. His growing interest in Tibetan people and their life resulted in visiting Tibet for the second time in 1980 and producing numerous life-drawings, sketches later realised in the form of paintings. He graduated from the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts in 1980 and participated in the graduation exhibition showcasing his most well known series of Tibetan paintings.

The medium of painting allows Chen Danqing to orchestrate the viewer’s interaction with work, therefore producing a flow of pictorial associations. According to the artist, “key elements of painting include composition, colour, genuineness, rhythm and idea development. Painting definitely has limits, you cannot release yourself through the process of painting. Painting can no longer provide so-called ‘nutrition’, which is why I do not care about what I do. In this sense, all the people that are still into painting are immoderate.”

Chen’s latest works were produced in collaboration with models from China Bentley Culture & Media Company and renowned stylist Xie Xing. He worked at the studio of artist You Yong from Chinese Academy of Oil Painting. Model’s height encouraged the artist to create large scale life paintings for the first time. By integrating influence of Western aesthetics with Chinese culture, Millet’s technique is still manifested in chromatic brilliance of Chen’s paintings.

About the ARTIST
Chen Danqing is a Chinese-American artist, writer, and art critic. He is known for his realist depictions of nudes and rugged landscapes. Influenced by the paintings of Jean-François Millet, Chen empathetically portrayed Tibetan farmers and herdsman in the 1970s. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1980. In 1982, the artist emigrated to the United States, where he spent the next 18 years writing and painting in New York. Chen returned to China in 2000 as a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He was awarded the prizes “50 Most Influential Chinese Intellectuals” (2004), “Top-10 Male Elites in China” (2005), “Elites of the Era” (2011), “Most Popular Author” (2011), Honorary Professorship of School of Humanities at Zhejiang University (2011), Lucie Foundation Award (2013) and others.

He participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including Museum Europe D’Art Modern (Barcelona, Spain), Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy), Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Aros Museum (Aarhus, Denmark), Louis Blouin Foundation (London, UK), Asia Society Art Museum (New York, USA), Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai, China), Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai, China) etc. His work has been acquired by various museums and institutions, such as Harvard University, Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, National Art Museum of China, Jiangsu Provincial Museum, Military Museum of Chinese People’s Revolution and private collections.

About the CURATOR
Cui Cancan is an independent curator in China, who won various awards, including The 12th Art Power 100 - Curator of the Year, Chinese Contemporary Art Award Critic Award, Yi Shu Award for Critical Writing etc., curated exhibitions titled Hei Qiao Night Way (2013), Xiang Cun Xi jian Chui (2013), FUCKOFF II (2013), Unlived by What is Seen (2014), Between the 5th and 6th Ring Road in Beijing (2015), The Decameron (2016) and others. He also curated solo exhibitions by Ai Weiwei, Xia Xiaowan, Shen Shaomin, Wang Qingsong, He Yunchang, Xiao Yu, Qin Ga, Xie Nanxing, Shi Jinsong, Li Zhanyang, Xu Zhongmin, Ma Ke, Xia Xing, Zhao Zhao, Li Qing, Chen Yufan, Chen Yujun, Li Binyuan, Feng Lin, Zhang Yue, Zong Ning, Jiang Bo etc.

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Date

May 24 - Jun 30, 2019

Contact

info@tangcontemporary.com.hk >

Photos

Installation view of Disguise and Paintings from Life

Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong

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Installation view of Disguise and Paintings from Life

Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong

Artworks

Chen Danqing > <

Artificial Flowers (假花)

At Ease (稍息)

Cigarette (煙)

Colourful Clothing and Muslin Dress (彩衣與紗裙)

Red Shoe (紅鞋)

Red Suit (紅色西服)

Stylist Xie Xing (造型設計師謝星)

Veil (面紗)

White Shirts (白襯衫)

Floral Dresses (花裙)

Smartphones (⼿機)

Suitcase (行李箱)

Self-portrait – 60 Years Old (60 歲的⾃畫像)

Woman Resting Her Head on Her Hand (托腮的女人)

Chen Danqing > <

Artificial Flowers (假花)

At Ease (稍息)

Cigarette (煙)

Colourful Clothing and Muslin Dress (彩衣與紗裙)

Red Shoe (紅鞋)

Red Suit (紅色西服)

Stylist Xie Xing (造型設計師謝星)

Veil (面紗)

White Shirts (白襯衫)

Floral Dresses (花裙)

Smartphones (⼿機)

Suitcase (行李箱)

Self-portrait – 60 Years Old (60 歲的⾃畫像)

Woman Resting Her Head on Her Hand (托腮的女人)

Artists